Xi’an Hanova International School is fully authorized to offer its students the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) – one of four programmes offered by the IB. It is a programme of international education designed to help students develop the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and skills necessary to participate actively and responsibly in a changing world.
Our Primary Years Programme ensures that learning is engaging, relevant and challenging in order to meet the diverse needs of the student. Our school follows a transdisciplinary model, whereby themes of global significance frame the learning throughout the primary years, including Early years. Students are encouraged to make connections between subject areas, and traditional curriculum areas are used as lenses to help students inquire into big ideas.
The PYP is both a curriculum framework and a philosophy that facilitates structured inquiry. Through inquiry, the students are encouraged to question, wonder, explore, experiment, investigate and take their learning further as part of their learning journey to construct meaning about the world around them. Students are also encouraged to consider situations from different perspectives and have the opportunity to explore significant local and global issues.
While the PYP acknowledges the importance of traditional subject areas (language, mathematics, social studies, science, personal, social and physical education, and arts), it also recognises the importance of acquiring a set of skills in context and of exploring content which transcends the boundaries of the traditional subjects and is relevant to students.
The PYP has six transdisciplinary themes that provide the framework for learning. These themes are globally significant and support the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills of the traditional subjects. They are revisited throughout the students’ time in the PYP.
The PYP Transdiciplinary Themes are:
- Who we are.
- Where we are in place and time.
- How we express ourselves.
- How the world works.
- How we organise ourselves.
- Sharing the planet.
These themes are selected for their relevance to the real world. They are described as transdisciplinary because they focus on issues that go across subject areas. The transdisciplinary themes help teachers to develop a programme of inquiry. Teachers work together to develop investigations into important ideas, which require a substantial and high level of involvement on the part of students.
Through the PYP curriculum framework, schools ensure that students examine each theme. Students inquire into, and learn about, these globally significant issues through units of inquiry, each of which address a central idea relevant to a particular transdisciplinary theme.
The Concepts are the ‘Big Ideas’ that will drive Unit of Inquiry. The curriculum framework has been structured around these ‘Big Ideas’. The PYP is structured around 8 key concepts but they are not the only concepts around, there are other related concepts, but these ones have been identified as the major concepts.
The 8 key concepts and key questions are:
- Form – What is it like?
- Function – How does it work?
- Causation – Why is it like it is?
- Change – How is it changing?
- Connection – How is it connected to other things?
- Perspective – What are the points of view?
- Responsibility – What is our responsibility?
- Reflection – How do we know?
The IB has identified these essential skills as the broad capabilities students develop and apply during learning and in life beyond the classroom.
The 5 broad skills are broken down into specific skills and developed throughout the learning journey. They are:
- Thinking Skills
- Social Skills
- Communication Skills
- Self Management Skills
- Research Skills
Our school encourages attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group. The attitudes that the students develop to their learning is probably the most important factor indicating future achievement. Students also develop personal attitudes towards people and the environment and this helps them to take their place as Blobal citizens and contributes hugely to their future well-being.
At Hanova we encourage:
IB students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning. Action can be a demonstration of a sense of responsibility and respect for themselves, others and the environment. Action usually begins in a small way but arises from genuine concern and commitment. Action should often happen beyond the classroom.
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally-minded people by encouraging students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. (From the IB Mission Statement). This mission statement aligns with our own Guiding Statement which indicate our Philosophy and Aims.
Student are encouraged to develop international mindedness through the fostering of the Learner Profile attributes. These are:
Inquirers: They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable: They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Humanities: History, Geography, Social Sciences, Political Ideologies and Economics
Thinkers: They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognise and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators: They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled: They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded: They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring: They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Courageous / Risk-takers: They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced: They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective: They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.